When You’re A Drug Addict, All Your Friends Die

No one knows how to prepare for this cycle of pain

Liv Pasquarelli


Image by Kzenon via Canva Pro

My girlfriend told me that every time she would prepare a shot of heroin, she hoped, truly and deeply in her heart, that it would be the one to kill her.

The first time I smoked cocaine, there was the screech of a train whistle in my ears, and my heart pounded so hard I thought for sure I would die of a heart attack. I wasn’t scared, I didn’t mind.

Drug addicts die. It’s a part of the territory.

What people don’t seem to understand is that no one wakes up one day and decides that they want to be a drug addict. Most of us have experienced a level of pain in our lives that welcomes death as the ultimate relief. Getting high or drunk just numbs us in between the parenthesis of life and death.

Recovery is healing. Recovery is having the courage to face the excruciating internal pain, work through it, and come out the other side a better person. The hope is that through healing these wounds, we stop wishing for death and stop numbing our pain. This is no easy feat, and a lot of us never make it.

All my friends are dead

It started with Holly, a girl I knew from the swim team. I remember the year she became thin, thinner, thinnest. Her body was a translucent web of blue veins in the water. Soon, she left the swim team. Her mother found her dead in her car outside the shop they owned a few days before her 18th birthday. She was curled into the fetal position, succumbing to warmth more comforting than the womb we all came from. She looked like a tiny, fragile baby bird, my friend told me. Her parent's shop was called “Bath Junkie”. They closed after she died.

A few years later, a boy in my high school choked on his own vomit, laying on his back on the couch in his mom’s living room. He was taking oxycontin. I know, because we got it from the same person. I stopped taking opiates and moved to a new city. I figured alcohol and cocaine were much safer, and I promised to only ever sleep on my side.

Pearl was so beautiful, her presence would suck the air out of a room. She looked like a tall forest fairy, and I was always envious of her beauty and grace…



Liv Pasquarelli

I write about the intersection of culture and emerging technology... and, most successfully on Medium, personal tales of love and farts.